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It’s OK to say No!

wellness Jan 03, 2018

By Dr. Yanina Gomez, Mindset/Emotional Wellness Coach

Lately, it seems to me that “being busy” is an act that’s glorified and accepted as the norm. Everyone is so busy.

“There aren’t enough hours in a day!” Some may say.
We want to be productive contributors to society, stay involved, and make a difference. But, boy oh boy, our schedules are so filled up with… STUFF that not much time is left to refuel yourself. And frankly, if we’re honest with ourselves, half of the stuff filling up our schedules aren’t even things we want to do.

We all get invitations to social events, family get-togethers, corporate events, donations, volunteer work, you name it. Sometimes, there aren’t enough hours or days to keep up with all the commitments we get ourselves into. We complain that we are extremely busy and have no time to do what we really want to do which leads me to wonder…

Why do we tend to over-commit?
What void are we trying to fill-in?
What are we trying to accomplish by overcommitting?
Don’t you think that, overcommitting is an avoidable and unnecessary stress in your life?

If you have been infected by the overcommitment bug, it’s time to take a good look at your schedule’s health status. If you were an MD, would you diagnose your schedule as mild, moderate or severely sick? If your schedule needs some healing, I encourage you to take a moment to answer these questions for each commitment you’re involved with.

Why did I commit to do this?
What am I trying to accomplish by committing to this?
How is this commitment contributing to my personal or professional growth?
What will happen if I quit it?

Overcommitments are known for increasing stress, anxiety and pressure even if you’re loving what you’re doing. If you are not careful and selective about the commitments you choose, you will end up feeling burned out and regretting the day you signed up to commit. You will likely come up with pitiful excuses to avoid it. As these commitments fill up your schedule, there is less and less time for those who really matter in your life. By default, we are not born to be Lone Rangers. We are designed to be social beings who need each other to live fulfilling lives. Are these commitments worth your isolation from those who truly care for you? Or are you better off letting go some of the commitments and freeing up space for those who matter to you the most?

As you become selective about your commitments, I encourage you to align them to your values and the goals you’ve set for yourself. Not every proposition is the right one for you even when it looks so shiny and tempting. If a proposition or invitation does not match the path you have chosen for yourself, you don’t need to accept it. Stay focused on the path you’ve selected for your life. When you deviate from your values and goals, you put yourself in a risky predicament. And you’ll find yourself regretting your decisions and wishing you didn’t make that call. Be smart and think with your brain not your urges. Don’t let the lure blind you. Picture the foggy short-cut and measure its consequences. Stay focused and say no!

The more you say no, the easier it gets. Let me share with you my mantra when it comes to commitments:

“If it’s not a heck YES, it’s a definite NO!”
 
Have you found yourself overcommitted and had to make drastic changes to clear your schedule? Or… Are you so overcommitted that you’re starting to feel the pressure and stress? Share your story with us!

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